Deploy the ducks, Desmond….

Ffolkes,

“Heresy is another word for freedom of thought.”

~~ Graham Greene ~~

Beacon Hill Park

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC


Hajime…. Our Pearl today is a bit of a poser for me, but, I decided that won’t stop us, not today. I’m going to visit my grandson, and I am determined nothing will get in the way of that. I am so focused on that, I’m going to give y’all an unprecedented opening, as short as I can make it. Today, literally, what you see is what you get, because I’m flipping the switch on our most radically efficient Tardis toy, right now. I’d hold on if I were you….

Shall we Pearl?….

“At the root of human responsibility is the concept of perfection, the urge to achieve it, the intelligence to find a path toward it, and the will to follow that path, if not to the end at least the distance needed to rise above individual limitations and environmental impediments.” — Aung San Suu Kyi

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bach-organ-works-for-free (2)

Johann Sebastian Bach

Image from openculture.com via Google Images


I decided yesterday I wanted something inspiring, classical, and new to this venue. I don’t believe I’ve used these, but, if I have, I shall expect y’all to respect my privacy, and say nothing about that. I’ll return the favor in the foreseeable future…. Right. Regardless of all that, I think you’ll enjoy these; a lot of people think they’re pretty special, myself included…. Enjoy!..

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Johann Sebastian Bach
Brandenburg Concertos

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Sandclock .jpg

    The fresh rant upon which I’ve been working continues to morph on me, so, we go once again to the archives, this time for another in our long series of indictments of the Dogma Dogs and their millennia-long deception, for which they will forever be damned, according to their own morality, what little of it exists… Deluded assholes, insisting on sharing their delusion with others, to our mutual denigration…. Enjoy!…. Or, not, up to you, as always….

From 11/24/2012:

“Happy is he who dashes the heads of his enemy’s children against rocks.” — Psalms 137:9

I don’t know about you, but that kind of strikes me as a little harsh, don’t you think? I mean, talk about exploring the deepest depths of evil possible to the soul of man! And we thought that our modern rock and rap lyrics were funky?….. Rappers get pretty nasty, but I haven’t heard this degree of nasty from anyone on the radio…. yet…. Not that I haven’t heard some egregious BS, but nothing so graphic and personal as this little song from the priests of Judaism…. fine upstanding fellows that they are…. NOT!!

First, I have to say, I hope this is a sham, or at the very least, a misquote. If it is an accurate reprint from that Psalm, well, it indicates a number of things to me, some about the past, some about the present…. Mostly, though, when I read it, I get a horrible visual image in my mind’s eye of some grinning moron holding a baby by the ankle, and….. no, I’m not going there, even for the writing practice…. I guess I’m a coward, if that means I’d have to continue to make graphic a concept that should never ever have even occurred to anyone, much less been written down….

What was the purpose of this, I wonder? As a teaching song? As a victory hymn? From an Old Testament version of the 3 Stooges? I’m not even sure I want to know that much about it, come to think of it…. It kind of makes one wonder, what kind of culture would have such a concept as a part of its morality…. but, sadly, through most of human history, if I’m not mistaken, acts like this, and others just as egregiously violent and cruel, have occurred over and over, and continue to do so today in some parts of the world, where civilization is only a thin veneer over the native cultures.

Our own society shows signs of the kind of culture that would grow out of such concepts, a sort of casual attitude about violence when aimed at an objectified enemy. The less humanity we ascribe to those enemies, the easier it is to perform inhumane acts against them…. Just another of the charming traits of which our species may boast….. It fits right in with our tendency to react with anger to fear, and with our tendency to act violently to achieve our ends. Sometimes, it’s enough to make me wonder how we got as far as we have down the evolutionary path.

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

This concept is probably what has saved us, at least to this point. We are indeed creatures of a dual nature, reflecting the duality of existence in which we live, and perceive in the universe. The light to our dark side, our saving grace, are these elements of compassion and empathy that we can also display, given the right circumstance and opportunity. The Dalai Lama, who has been known to show some rather deep wisdom, has said that compassion and kindness are his entire religion, and that mankind cannot survive without living according to the precepts of such characteristics. I happen to believe he is most likely correct.

The attitudes that that Old Testament culture created and sent crashing through Time are bound to lead us to extinction, for they completely  ignore the laws of nature. Our own greed and unwillingness to accept our own place in nature will remove us from this life, as surely as we are stripping the earth of its material resources in our search for wealth and power. None of the people involved in that effort to achieve power are either aware of, or willing to consider, their own complicity and guilt, and will fight to their own death to preserve their assumed right to oppress the rest of reality in their personal quest for domination.

The sad part is that they are taking the rest of us with them down that road…. and it is all because basically, deep down where it counts the most, a lot of people are, quite simply, assholes…..  Quite frankly, the universe will be better off without the great majority of them. It’s a shame all the good ffolkes have to pay the same price, isn’t it?…… Ah well…..

“May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you’re dead” — An Irish toast

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Comedy_Tragedy

Fatal Supplication

But what becomes of our deepest dangerous dreams?
Does fantasy rescue any part of life’s imperiled favor?
Reality becomes but silvery pairs of mismatched teams,
Dining with affable elegance, such diffident waste to savor.

Who decides what sorrows to carry bravely to term?
Will fragrant moments of sanity make hasty manifestation?
Only Time’s patient mutability sends messages so firm,
Yet salient impersonal vexation lends credence to ripe imagination.

Can folly bring out sadness and rampant visions of beauty?
What kindness can be found in distant open relations?
With countless faces the dead disturb with dire impunity,
From separate caches of wisdom come simple stylish privations.

Shall shallow emotion serve to provide such explanations?
When does avaricious intensity assume primary focus?
Plain answers slide softly through with multiple mitigations,
While conceptually indignant concepts engage a fatally personal locus.

~~ gigoid ~~

9/20/2012


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pearls_3

    Our final pearl for today is a collection of nine most excellent gems of brilliant luster, all speaking in a general way of Life at Large, with an ample portion of Things We All Should Know, But Often Forget. There’s also a bit of Things You May Never Have Considered, which provide just the proper bit of spice to liven it up. All in all, it’s a damn good pearl, so, pay attention. There might just be something you need….

“We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.” — Bumper Sticker

“We’re not talking about the same thing,” he said. “For you the world is weird because if you’re not bored with it you’re at odds with it. For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must accept responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I wanted to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.” — Don Juan

“At ebb tide I wrote a line upon the sand, and gave it all my heart and all my soul.  At flood tide I returned to read what I had inscribed and found my ignorance upon the shore.” — Kahlil Gibran

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” — Oscar Wilde

“Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.” — Voltaire

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, it hopes for the future, and it does not brood over the past. It’s the day-in and day-out chronicle of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things that are missing. If you don’t have love in your life, no matter what else there is, it’s not enough.” — Ann Landers

“I say love, it is a flower; and you, it’s only seed.” — (Bette Midler) The Rose

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” — Muir’s Law– John Muir, American Naturalist —  My First Summer in the Sierra , 1911, page 110.

“You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once.  So did we all. And the truth is that as a man’s real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he _must_ do.” — Ursula K. LeGuin, “A Wizard of Earthsea”

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“Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell’s afraid I’ll take over….”

~~ gigoid ~~


How do you like the latest incarnation of our newest innovation, to wit: a final, closing pearl upon which to set loose my final creative urges, whatever they may be? I have yet to make a final judgment on whether to continue, but, today’s version is one I like. I found the above statement without attribution; not surprising, as I’ve heard it many times for most of my life. Since it fits my persona so well, I thought I’d just claim it for today, without any intent to harm, with merely the desire to be silly, and, perhaps, eke out one final chuckle from the Gentle Reader…. Without knowing how it will work, I’ll make my escape, with the usual caveat; I’ll be back tomorrow to try again…. See ya….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Brokering unvalidated envelopes for charity….

Ffolkes,

“It is not the one with many possessions who is rich,
but the one who has no needs.”

~~ Philoxenos ~~

gigoid and CC

gigoid and Charlie C. in Portobello Road, London


Hajime…. I’ve decided sleep is a good thing again. For some time, it’s been rather a hit or miss proposition, leaning heavily toward the ‘miss’, so I had placed it in one of the less accessible files where I put such stuff so it doesn’t clutter up my RAM. But, with persistent perseverance (is there another kind?), I’ve finally ascertained the proper material to consume at the appropriate hour, to both improve my overall pain levels, and, help me get drowsy enough to fall out. I’ve now enjoyed five straight days with six hours or more sleep, which has improved everything. So, yay me, and we can now get on with other stuff I find more compelling.

Shoot. I’ve left myself high and dry again; maybe I should have extended the chat time for a while. This vast, featureless plain which now inhabits my creative imagination is somewhat daunting in its scarcity of intelligible offerings I might use; all I see are a couple of semi-transparent circles, and a couple of tricks. Not what I was hoping, to be sure. I think, instead, we’ll use the new brevity button I had installed in the Tardis (yes, we have alteration permission, as long as we avoid anachronistic designs, or incompatible fittings…..). It’s pretty cool; watch what happens when I push it, like this….

Shall we Pearl?….

“I fill MY industrial waste containers
with old copies  of the “WATCHTOWER”
and then add HAWAIIAN PUNCH to  the top…
They look NICE in the yard–“

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


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young_dubliners

Young Dubliners

Image from http://www.ocweekly.com via Google Images


When I went to pick music for today, I was feeling a bit Irish. Since I’ve enjoyed this band for a while, they were a natural choice. I hope you enjoy this live cut of a cover of a traditional Irish tune. The sound quality isn’t the best, but, live cuts on YT often are not; there are any number of similar choices at the end of this cut, which may provide a better sound…. Let the ceili begin….

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Young Dubliners
Foggy Dew

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Sandclock .jpg

    Since I slept later than usual, the rant I am working on didn’t get finished in time. Here, instead, is a discussion of matters with which we frequently concern ourselves here at ECR, about issues that need attention if we are to survive with any dignity, or virtue, as a species….

From 124/2012:

“Free enterprise ended in the United States a good many years ago. Big oil, big steel, big agriculture avoid the open marketplace. Big corporations fix prices among themselves and drive out the small entrepreneur. In their conglomerate forms, the huge corporations have begun to challenge the legitimacy of the state.” — Gore Vidal

In his book, “Friday”, Robert Heinlein details a society of humanity’s possible future, one in which corporations have continued to grow beyond the boundaries of mere countries, until their interests become paramount even over that of the state, as observed by Mr. Vidal. We, of the society here on Earth in the early 21st century are witnessing that growth, as I write, and as you read…..

The small enterprise markets still exist, but only on the fringes of the economy, the major portion of which is busy manipulating the population into serving the economic trends that the corporations control, in the essential markets that cover everyone… In other words, the corporations monopolize most of the economy, allowing the fringe markets to exist to provide exotic, alternative toys and entertainments for the working classes.

Mr. Heinlein’s character, a young woman with designer genes, genius IQ, and Heinlein’s innate sardonicism, as part of an assignment, is required to perform a research and analysis of how the corporations affected the political and economic scenes of their society, obliquely referring, of course, to the one we have now. It is a very interesting part of a very good book, and well worth a read, not only for its perspicacity in explaining the piracy we are seeing today, but because Heinlein was a master storyteller, who created fascinating characters in  fantastic situations, making it all seem perfectly normal and real.

“The phenomenality of organic, conscious existence should, could have made impossible the sadism, the unending hurt of our ways. The impotent fury, the guilt that master and surpass my identity carry with them the working hypothesis, the ‘working metaphor’, if you will, of ‘original sin’. To this expression, I am unable to attach any reasoned, let alone historical substance. On the pragmatic-narratological plane, stories of some initial crime and inherited culpability are universal fables  — uncannily profound and lasting. Nothing more. Yet in the presence of the beaten, raped child, of the horse or mule flogged across its eyes, I am possessed, as by a midnight clarity, by the intuition of the Fall.” — Rudolf Steiner, Errata: An examined life, Phoenix — (a division of Orion Books), London, 1998), p. 169

At first, this quote may not seem to be related to the first. However, it is this “original sin” of which he speaks that is the root cause of the problems with corporations in society. Those humans who reject commonality with the rest of humanity are the villains in this play that passes for modern culture, for they do not accept their debt to the rest of the species, and have determined that they will use whatever means they need to become ascendant over the rest of us. Greed is only the most obvious of the ills that this group has subjected our culture to, with cruelty, dishonesty, and lack of compassion as side attractions. Through the actions of their corporate entities, they work to maintain their power and control of others, all for the sake of their own aggrandizement….

These are the men who run the trade in human trafficking, abducting and abusing children and women, for sex and slavery. These are the men who run the brothels, and the underground casinos, and the money-lending, and the protection rackets, and the drug dealing rings. What many folks don’t realize is that they are also the men who run for political office, or become preachers/priests, and the bankers, and the CEO’s,  and other corporate officers, who make their decisions based on self-interest, never on altruism. They seem, and act like, they are the leaders of society, when, in fact, they are the very reason our society is headed for extinction….

Unfortunately, these men (and they are almost ALL men….) will not give up their power and control without a fight. They will not respond to reason, giving up all their wealth and perceived power, to benefit the rest of mankind. They will not suddenly see the light, and give it all back. They will have to be rooted out like weeds, tough, hardy weeds, and destroyed, if we are to have any chance of survival…. It is unfortunate, but no other method will work, and it brings with it the danger of falling into the same kind of behavior by which they operate. But, I can see no other way to solve the issue, since they will not cooperate with the rest of us for the benefit of all….

1. If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.

2. What you settle for is what you end up with.

3. If you think that worrying about a problem is the same thing as solving it,
then you must live in some other universe where different laws pertain.

~~ Smart Bee~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

Seeing is Conducive to Belief

Folly sits so comfortably upon my fevered brow
one would easily believe that I would know how
to look at Life with a jaded, weary eye
seeing enough, and more, to know Why.

Such seems the case, as I will it to be,
an open book of a face, it looks so like me;
what’s known to be so, needs no close attention
familiar sights require no minding, nor mention.

The eye is drawn at once to the stark and new,
and sent back to sleep by successful review.
Once we find evidence we feel we understand,
curiosity languishes, dismissed at command.

Ancient sages knew the insidious value of illusion,
preachers and pundits know the power of confusion.
Each pair of eyes contains its own point of reference,
each mind sets its own standards of preference.

Seeing is believing, for those who live in thrall,
accepting what is perceived is all they ever recall.
Unknown to them, reality follows another set of rules,
Deeper, more dangerous, and no place for fools.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/11/2012


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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

All you need to know….

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“You cannot give away kindness, it always comes back to you.”

~~ Zen Bee ~~

*********

“The best laid plans of mice and men are usually about equal.”

~~Blair’s Observation ~~

*********

“Sports do not build character. They reveal it.”

~~ Heywood Brown, journalist ~~

*********

“Vision without action is a daydream.
Action without vision is a nightmare.”

~~ Japanese proverb ~~

*********

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”

~~ Herman Melville ~~

*********

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others, can not keep it from themselves.”

~~ Irish blessing ~~

*********

“Anything is possible, but nothing is easy.”

~~ Bill Gray ~~

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“To be “matter of fact” about the world is to blunder into fantasy….
and dull fantasy at that,
as the real world is strange and wonderful.”

~~ Robert A. Heinlein ~~

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“Here. Have a jelly baby.”

~~ Doctor Who ~~


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Today’s effort is one I can use in the future, as a reminder this process will stand up to the test of time. I’m beginning to think there is something to this evolution stuff. On that cryptic note, I shall leave you until the morrow, when you will find me here, spouting off, once more. I don’t think there is any way to stop me now…. Bwahahahahaha!…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…. Fair warning….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Pliable, yet soapy, it burned quickly….

Ffolkes,
Whew! It’s going to be an interesting day….. I’ve been up only about 15 minutes, and have at least three comments from yesterday that will require some heavy thought in order to respond adequately. The good news is that the blogger friend I was worried about last night is fine, and my worry was unnecessary; his poetry was simply too real, and I bought it…. very powerful piece…. So, all is good, and I have lots to keep my mind occupied (as if that were ever a problem around here…..).

That being said, we should probably just get on with it, so…… let’s Pearl….

All of the above is out-of-date by 24 hours, so just pay it no mind…. As I explained yesterday, this was written on the 15th, but before I realized I was writing it into the template for the next day….. The nose grew bulbous and red, and I honked it, for sure….. I had to start over, and shall proceed to do so again this morning…. be right back….  (Why not just delete? That would be cheating….)

It has been a full day since I wrote that, and the above introductory paragraphs are hereby declared to be null and void. This procedure will now resume its normally scheduled activity…. as normally as it ever gets, that is….. and to avoid any further nonsense, we will go directly to the task at hand, i.e., we shall now Pearl……this way, please, and watch your step…..
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Deal with others as thou wouldst thyself be dealt by.
Do nothing to thy neighbor which thou wouldst not have him do to thee hereafter.
—  _The Mahabharata_, c. 800 B. C.

I feel a google coming on….. yep, it started even earlier than this…. According to Wikipedia, the earliest mention of the concept we now refer to as The Golden Rule is to be found in the Code of Hammurabi, first codified and set down in the year 1780 BC. Though the majority of Christians believe that the teachings of Jesus were the origination of this idea, almost every religion and philosophy in every country in the world has made a reference to this ideal of reciprocity in human relations, dating probably from before the time of Hammurabi.

Once again, the mathematician in me takes over, and we will now emulate The Count, from Sesame Street.  1780 + 2012 = 3792. That is 3792 years, approximately (I don’t imagine they know the day of the week it was published; it’s not THAT accurate a computation). That is a lot of days. Even more hours. It seems like, and is, a long time, at least in relation to the sum total of written human history, which has been been recorded for only about 5 or 6 thousand years… not too much longer ago than this first appeared.

These figures, in my mind, beg the question: So, how are we doing on that? Do we all treat each other according to the underlying principle of this piece of societal knowledge, well known to even the most ignorant of our brethren? Is this the basis for all our laws and moral standards?  Have we made any progress at all in nearly four thousand years during which this has been a part of the tool kit that humans possess to deal with reality?

I don’t think so.

In fact, it seems clear to me that our society pretty much acts in a manner completely OUT of harmony with the principle of reciprocity between men and women, of seeking harmony between all members of society. There is NO reciprocity present in modern day life. The attitude of self-service first is prevalent in the beloved ruling class, and trickles down naturally to infest and infect every level of society, from top to bottom, reaching into every nook and cranny, soiling each soul it touches and ensnares.

Each and every one of these people whom we have elected into office, as well as a significant number of average society members,  will tell you with a straight face, and a firm belief they are telling the truth, that they strongly support the Golden Rule, and use it in every area of their life. These same people will then steal your wallet while you aren’t looking, then offer to help you look for it. Then, they will ask you for a reward for helping you find it, right where they dumped it…. and I’ll bet everyone reading this has a story that fits that scenario, at least in the essential points….

Is there an answer to this issue, to these questions? Yes, it has already been made, and is in place now. This is the way it is; it will not change, not until human nature changes also, and that is just NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, PEOPLE!  I’d suggest you get used to it, and polish up your armor….. There are not many of us left who feel like what is below…. most folks don’t feel at all…. but trying for this at least can make our own journey a bit more tolerable…..

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves. — Irish blessing

After that explosion of cynicism, all I can say to you all is….. Blessed Be, and maybe I’m wrong…. We can hope…. In fact, here is a proposition…. If the world will adopt the Golden Rule, I’ll break myself of my habit of using all these dots in my writing….. that ought to be worth something in the larger picture, don’t you think?  It’s worth a shot, nothing else seems to be working very well…..
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“Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is NOT a sin–just stupid.)” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

I first saw this quote when I was about 23 or so… I had been reading Heinlein’s work for many years already, and my philosophical growth was still in its expansion stages, not yet having settled on the final format that I eventually found suitable. This statement, part of the collected “Notebooks of Lazarus Long” was one that almost seemed as it it had been part of my being for many years. It wasn’t a feeling of deja vu that I got from it; it was more like a feeling of , “Well, of course! That’s obvious!”  It was quickly adopted into my own philosophy as a good way to view reality, to my way of thinking….

It quickly came to my attention that this sentiment is not exactly a popular one amongst the more religiously oriented folks with whom we share space in this reality. The year 1973, when this book was first published, was a time when the gay movement was just gaining some attention in the news, and, I believe, may even be when Anita Bryant first began her misguided campaign against homosexuality.

A lot of social mores were being challenged by the hippie culture, and the rules, and sins, as promulgated by the established religions, were under constant attack from the left side of the political spectrum. The noise and outrage from the conservative fundamentalists was deafening in its panicked frenzy (a state of mind that persists to this day when fundamentalists are reminded of the laws that now exist…. it makes them absolutely CRAZY to think that their worst nightmares are now legal acts…..), as they thrashed around the public arena, shouting out their dogma to whomever they could persuade to listen.

But, as I did back then, and continue to do now, I pretty much ignore the crap that gets flung in my direction whenever one of these religious zealots hears what I believe, or is confronted with the evidence of their own foolishness. It’s the only honorable way to deal with them… They are not sufficiently well-armed to make a battle of wits a fair proposition, and beating them to a pulp is frowned upon by my peers, as well as the fundamentalists themselves…. It costs them a lot in bandages and aspirin when they are silly enough to try to engage me in debates on this subject, and carry on to the point where my patience snaps…. it isn’t pretty…. but it sure is fun!…..
___________________________________

C:\> erase c:\reality.sys; copy a:\pern\*.* c:

Yesterday’s little contest had a winner, cowgirliz, (http://cowgirliz.wordpress.com/) who slipped in the correct answer late last evening, about 2 minutes ahead of the second place winner,  Rohit, (http://quest4knowledge.wordpress.com/).  Both of them correctly interpreted the above DOS command, and have won this fabulous prize….. four minutes of fame, here on gigoid’s folly….. This prize, it must be added, has no cash value, and is only worth as much as you give it, so, give until it hurts…… or at least go check out their blogs; both of them are well worth reading….

So, you’re asking, what the heck does it mean?  Okay…. first, you need to know about Pern….  Pern is the name of a planet that circles a star much like that of Earth’s, approximately 200+ light years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Draco, suitably enough…. It is a fictional world, created and written about by Anne McCaffrey, an Irish author of science fiction and fantasy novels. The novels about Pern are a combination of the best of both of those literary worlds……

Humans came to Pern, in giant spaceships, from Earth in the twenty-second century, seeking to colonize a planet using new ideas of government and societal structure that the colonists believed would be an improvement over what now existed on Earth. When they arrived on the planet, from which they could not return to Earth, having used all their available resources to get to Pern, with not enough to spare for a return trip, they found it to be welcoming, if challenging. Except for one thing…. Thread.

Thread was a life-form that originated on another planet in the same system, a life-form inimical to carbon-based life, such as humans, plants, the animals the colonists had brought with them, and those indigenous to Pern. Thread fell from the skies above Pern, after traveling across the intervening space between the two planets during the closest approach in their respective orbits. It would then voraciously attack and consume any life form it touched, producing a painful and not quick enough death.

In order to combat the menace, the colonists performed bioengineering on a life form indigenous to Pern, called fire-lizards. These flying lizards, resembling small dragons, the size of a cat, had two characteristics which the colonists needed to fight the Thread as it fell on them from above. First, they could fly, and in addition, had the power of teleportation; they could almost instantly move from one point to another on Pern, taking only the time it takes to draw two breaths to get anywhere else on the globe. Second, they could breathe fire….. But, cat-size, they were too small to be an effective weapon against the Thread, so the colonists altered their DNA, making them larger, the size of the real dragons of human myth, but keeping the abilities of flight, teleportation, and breathing fire….. thus making them effective at eliminating Thread before it reached the ground, fighting with their bonded human riders, who feed them the mineral needed to produce the flames…

Over the course of numerous books, the history of Pern is laid out, over a three thousand year period following the first arrival of people to the planet, showing readers a number of interesting cultural changes to society, caused in part by the new form of self-government the colonists established, as well as the effects of having a new sub-culture, that of Dragon riders, within the main culture of the planet. It is a very popular set of books, with new ones being added by enthusiastic fans writing in the same universe as Pern, as well as other fantasy and sf authors who have collaborated with Ms. McCaffrey to create more books on the same subject. The culture of Pern, as described in the novels, is almost Utopian in its attitudes, and the planet serves as a modified version of Heaven on Earth, as it fulfills several human dreams that our current society either represses or ignores, i.e. a peaceful society based on respect for others, and Dragons, too!

Now, the DOS part…. DOS is an operating system, a mathematical model that is used to give computers the actual commands that cause it to perform different functions, such as opening files, viewing contents of the files, word processing, or printing files. The commands are written in a specific format, a language, as it were, that tells the computer exactly what files to seek and use, or to copy, or move, or whatever; it is the details of the actions the computer will be asked to perform.

Using the common format for such commands, the above command line can thus be seen to instruct the computer to delete Reality, and to then, using a file on a floppy disk in the a:/drive, to open, and start, an alternate Reality based on the Pern universe… in other words, replace today’s Earth with Pern… and all of its wonderful advantages……including Dragons!  Bonus?  No tax day!

See? A bit of modern cultural mythology, a bit of fantasy, a little technology, and a lot of whimsy…. it always works for me….. thanks for listening…..
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“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.” — Epicurus

So simple, yet this remains as the root cause of much of the unhappiness that people experience in today’s world, both directly, and indirectly. Often, losing what we have is a result of letting go of it to chase after an illusion of what we believe would be somehow better than what we already possess. We all remember the story about the dog with the big bone in his mouth who, on spying his reflection in the water of the river, opened his mouth to grab the bone the other dog had, and lost the one he had….. So obvious, and a lesson we all are taught from a young age, no matter what our educational level. This story crosses all such distinctions, as it is easily seen as universally relevant by all who hear it, save those few who are cognitively incapable of more than rudimentary thought (Certain politicians come to mind…. okay, I’m sorry, that was a cheap shot, totally unnecessary, and out of place in a serious discussion…. but, it still is true, it DID pop into my mind’s eye; the image is still there…   🙂   )

In light of the above paragraph’s implications, the question that begs asking is this; What the fuck is wrong with people?  I’m serious. The entire world seems to be locked into a pattern of behavior and attitudes that consistently contradicts the concept under examination, in short, material desire. Everyone, from the leaders and public figures at the supposed apex of society to the poorest miserable resident of the ghetto, seems to be chasing material advancement, both for personal benefit, and in relation to others, instead of being happy and content with what is spiritually and compassionately beneficial that we may possess in plenty, no matter what our material status, just by making the inner decision to let go of the desire for what is ephemeral, and holding on to what is eternal…..

To my mind, it is incomprehensible… I know that I possess many advantages over some folks, in terms of what I have been blessed with between my ears…. though it hasn’t made me rich in money or property, I am fabulously wealthy in terms of the things I consider to be essential to life, such as love, honor, truth, and compassion. Whatever I may achieve, or acquire, beyond those things, can be considered to be a bonus, in some cases, and a challenge in others…. either way, I try hard not to let any of the extra stuff detract from my appreciation for the four pillars of my existence, as stated above……

It is hard for me to not feel compassion for any who are so lost, or out of touch with themselves, or just misled, such that they cannot see the advantages of learning to embrace the sentiment expressed so well by Epicurus. It arouses my compassion, and makes me wish I knew how to get through to all those people, so they could share the joy in living that I do…. As painful and difficult as my life can be at times, I know it will all be well in the end, that the Universe is proceeding as it should, and that contents me…. most of the time….
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Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up,
And isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in the town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head:
“It isn’t really
Anywhere!
It’s somewhere else
Instead!”
— A.A. Milne

You know, when I found this, I had an immediate reaction that I knew would make a good pearl…. Now that I look at it again this morning, that thought is gone. Phtt! Nowhere to be found. Too bad, really; as I recall, it was an interesting thought.  But, so much for the best laid plans, etc.

You know what else? This is good enough to stand alone. As I look it over again, it is echoing, growing deeper and more complex as each minute passes….. of course, that could just be the moldy cheese I’m eating, too…..  No, really, it is a pretty deep little Pooh-ish sort of thought, isn’t it? Almost sounds like Emily D. might have said it, in one of her more whimsical moments….. Nonetheless, I’m going to just leave it alone, and leave any further contemplation of its depths to the Gentle Reader….. where all such musings belong…
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I was noodling around in my head last night, as is my wont, and the following popped into my head. Now, if I was a paranoid schizophrenic, I would think, and most likely be right, that this is what is referred to as a thought intrusion. I might, if I were so diagnosed, and inclined, think that someone else had planted this in my brain, or that another of my hallucinations had telepathically forced me to think it. But, not being any subject to such silly ideas, (my brain chemical balance seems to be holding up just fine, thank you…), I just felt a small glow of mild achievement, as one does when one turns a phrase nicely, or makes a clever play on words, as in this case….. I like it…. What do y’all think? Is it worth using, as an alternate sig file? Or is it just okay, slightly amusing but not on the cutting edge of clever?  I need some feedback here, please…. thanks…..

“May the metaphorse be with you.” — gigoid, Sunday, 2012

Thus does another Pearl of Virtual Wisdom draw to a thrilling conclusion. Or, well, at least a screeching halt….. hell, I think we’d better jump before this thing goes over the cliff there….. look out!….. Nooooooooo! …… NO CARRIER

Hmph… I always seem to end up going for the cheap laugh at the end. When will I ever learn?  SIGH…. Well, y’all take care out there….


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Kowabunga!